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Police still seeking men who fled after high-speed chase

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Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2009 10:00 pm

One of two men who fled from Lodi police Wednesday was initially believed to be wanted on a host of local charges, but the suspect is a different person, detectives said Thursday.

John Odom Harris was not in the car that fled from police at speeds of 120 mph; instead, a different unidentified man was in the car, Detective Eric Bradley said.

The other man in the car, Danny Darnell Coleman Jr., 20, was named in a federal indictment last month charging him with conspiracy, court records show. The charge, related to the "Taliban Gang" out of the Bay Area, carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Though Harris wasn't in the car, he is still wanted on at least 15 felony charges totaling more than $1.2 million bail. He has ties to the Stockton area, and Bradley said Harris may have recently shaved off his dreadlocks.

On Thursday, a prosecutor also cleared up the matter of how Harris had been released from the San Joaquin County Jail.

On Jan. 22, Harris' attorney asked that the 24-year-old be released long enough to attend an interview at the San Francisco-based Delancey Street Foundation, a well-respected live-in drug treatment program.

In addition to a number of firearm and police evasion charges, Harris is also charged with a variety of felony drug violations. At that point his bail wasn't nearly as high, in part because one $500,000 warrant hadn't been filed.

Deputy District Attorney Donald Vaughn objected to the treatment program idea, but Judge Franklin Stephenson granted the request.

The county Probation Department took Harris to San Francisco, and he fled from the vehicle as soon as it arrived in the city.

A Thursday afternoon call to probation officials regarding the process for taking inmates to Delancey Street, including whether they are handcuffed, was not immediately returned.

A call to the foundation was also not immediately returned, nor was a call to Harris' attorney, Armando Villapudua.

Vaughn has since filed another case against Harris, charging him with escape while felony charges were pending, and secured a $500,000 warrant.

Coleman, meanwhile, was one of 26 people indicted Feb. 25. In addition to conspiracy, some were charged with distributing cocaine.

More than 40 members of the Taliban Gang - not connected to Arabs or Muslims - were arrested earlier this month on federal and state charges in a massive law enforcement operation.

On Wednesday, Lodi police detectives learned that Coleman and Harris were possibly in the city, and they were in an undercover vehicle when two men drove away.

The detectives tried to pull them over, but the car accelerated, speeding down Hutchins Street. Detectives caught up after the car crashed at Prospector Drive south of Morada Lane, where the car crashed and the two occupants ran in separate directions. An extensive search was unsuccessful.

The outcome frustrated police, who noted that the suspects were driving at 120 mph "with no regard for human safety," so detectives couldn't get close enough to them, Bradley said.

"Even though we are driving with our lights and sirens on above the speed limit, we still have to maintain public safety," Bradley said. "We have to balance the crime, the road conditions and the danger to the public."

Contact reporter Layla Bohm at layla@lodinews.com.

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  • posted at 11:47 am on Fri, Mar 27, 2009.


    "...but Judge Franklin Stephenson granted the [release] request." This bleeding heart judge should have his A-- tossed in jail until these two creeps are picked up.

  • posted at 5:05 am on Fri, Mar 27, 2009.


    gail1: The photos were on the front page of Thursday's paper, and on page 3 of today's paper. Here's a link to yesterday's stories, with the photos: http://www.lodinews.com/articles/2009/03/26/news/1_gang_090326.txt

  • posted at 4:56 am on Fri, Mar 27, 2009.


    With some help from the K-9 corps, the bad guys would be the guests of the city or county. gail1, you evidently you didn`t look at page 3 of the LNS this morning, their pics were there, the article was written by Layla Bohm. Get the paper out of the recycle barrel and take a look for yourself.

  • posted at 4:04 am on Fri, Mar 27, 2009.


    where are the pitures of these men? why haven't you put them in the paper and sent there pictures to other local papers. please I live in Modesto not that far away and people get lost here fast...I think local area's should be informed of something like this. good work Lodi police department.

  • posted at 1:56 am on Fri, Mar 27, 2009.


    Det. Bradley. Good job to you and your partners in the attempt to get these guys. It's too bad that so many people cast aspersions about cops. Sometimes the bad guys do get away for a while at least. I am positive if the bad guys crashed into and hurt some innocent people, you guys would be verbally chastised by these some people who criticise you for not actually catching them. So good job from the non-mental cases in our community.



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